May 28, 2007 12:00 AM
Just because Rosie O'Donnell won't be there doesn't mean ABC's "The View" won't be must-see TV on Tuesday. There will be lots of body language and carefully composed explanations of Ms. O'Donnell's decision to leave "The View" three weeks earlier than planned-a development officially announced Friday but hinted at for two days by Ms. O'Donnell on her Web site.
"When painting/ there is a point/ u must step away from the canvas/ as the work/ it is done," Ms. O'Donnell wrote in the haiku patois she uses on rosie.com.
On Friday, statements were released conceding the stormy and ratings-improved season of Rosie was over. "We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave. Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well," said Brian Frons, Disney-ABC's Daytime Television Group president.
Barbara Walters, the show's creator, co-executive producer and occasional target for Ms. O'Donnell's anger, said, "I brought Rosie to the show. Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at 'The View.' I am most appreciative."
In her statement, Ms. O'Donnell said, "I'm extremely grateful. It's been an amazing year and I love all three women."
"Three women" presumably means Ms. Walters and co-hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar, who inadvertently triggered Ms. O'Donnell's rage at Ms. Hasselbeck for one last time. The loudly liberal Ms. O'Donnell and kewpie-doll conservative Ms. Hasselbeck had maintained they were friends despite their many arguments. -- Michele Greppi